Huell Howser’s Video Legacy “That’s Amazing”
by Rebecca Friedman
It’s been eight years since Huell Howser, the likeable public television host with a genuine sense of wonder and Tennessee twang, died in January 2013 at age 67. I decided to update the article that I wrote for the DE Newsletter back then. Since we’re mostly relegated to being “armchair travelers” these days, I encourage you to view some of his video archives at the website shown below.
For 30 years, Huell traveled the state to share the history, natural wonders, and amazing people of California. I used to join my parents in watching him on TV, starting with his Videolog programs. Later I introduced his California’s Gold, Road Trip, California Golden Parks, and other series to my own family (Leonard and Hannah). We were big fans. Years ago, I caught a glimpse of him in person at a café in Los Angeles. And we got to meet Luis Fuerte, his longtime cameraman from 1990-2001, when we went to the 2014 opening of the California’s Gold Exhibit and Huell Howser Archives at Chapman University. I remember Huell often proclaiming, “Louie, take a look at this!” Luis autographed a special edition AAA map for the Desert Explorers, which Craig Baker purchased at our silent auction that year. I saw that eBay is offering that guide map (unsigned) for $25.
Hundreds of episodes of Huell’s California’s Gold and other series have been digitized and made available for free viewing online on the Chapman University website (http://www.HuellHowserArchive.com). Huell even featured Bill “Short Fuse” Mann and sites in the Lucerne Valley on episode #1402 of his Visiting series. Below is a partial list of episodes where Huell visited places that Desert Explorers have also been. To view one, just type the title in the “Search” box on the website. There is also an interactive California’s Gold Map that makes it easy to find episode numbers. Or, you can browse the episode index at https://blogs.chapman.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2017/03/Episode-List-1.pdf. Any of Huell’s episodes are worthy of your viewing.
All these episodes are California’s Gold unless noted: